Pragmatic advice for coaches, managers & leaders

Category Archives: Coaching business

Sector specifics

Coaching sectors

Please don’t call me for a coaching assignment and ask what business sectors I have coaching experience in. Seriously.

Whilst I will be able to say honestly that I have had the great pleasure of working in many industries and organisations over the last 16 years, it rather misses the point. Great executive coaching can be achieved regardless of the coach’s sector experience; in fact there is an argument to suggest that being ‘free’ of what you think you know about a particular sector may prove helpful to good coaching. But if you want someone to tell you or a colleague what to do, then you may be better off hiring a mentor who can share their experiences.

Sector security

Sponsors of coaching often ask about these types of experiences because they want some reassurance that the coach ‘gets’ what the client is going through. Well, let’s assume no-one would be able to do that precisely, so we can drop it as an area of concern can’t we?

It might be more useful for you to know what type of areas of coaching I, or better still my clients, think I am more effective at helping with: For me that would be areas such as growing self-confidence; developing personal leadership style and driving team performance. I’m less experienced, for example, at specific assignments to do with career progression, although many of my clients have gone on to promotion as a result of their improved work performance but as a by-product of our working together. I’ve also done very little ‘life coaching’ specifically, although I am aware that much of the work I do has an impact of the ‘life’ of my clients.

Role Experience

Experience of a particular role is a bit different to sector experience.  There is research suggesting that a coach’s ability may be limited by their own cognitive and social-emotional development (e.g. Bachkirova 2011, Laske, 2006) relative to that of their clients. Coaches who are less ‘developed’ in these areas than their clients, are likely to be relatively less effective than coaches who are more ‘developed’. This makes sense, as these coaches have greater degrees of flexibility in their thinking to access and also possess higher levels of emotional intelligence. My assumption here is that the more senior the client, the more developed along the cognitive and social-emotional scales they are … but I’ll leave you to decide the accuracy of that assumption.

My point is this that coaching is context- and person-specific; it promotes self-reliance, and fresh thinking whilst often getting into some quite ‘deep’ areas. It’s not about me telling you what to do. That’s your job. It’s not my place to share my experiences. It’s your job to design and dive into the positive experiences that can be available to you.

Dr Glenn Wallis is an experienced leadership and executive coach who relishes the opportunities to help people think differently and develop their uniqueness. You can contact him here if you would like to discuss your coaching and leadership needs.

The big benefit of time away

I would like to thank those of you who have been asking about this blog and who wanted to know if and/or when I would be getting back to writing. Well I’m pleased to say that I plan to be writing regularly again. There were several reasons for stopping writing and they included: the blogContinue Reading

3 Questions Leaders Ask About Coaching

I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with hundreds of senior leaders in organisations of all sizes, complexity and sectors. During the early days of meeting with clients they can seek extra information to help establish what and how I do what I do. Here are three that get asked of me frequently.  I’veContinue Reading

A Coaching Experiment

I have recently read a very interesting book written by Eric Ries, titled, “The Lean Startup”. It provoked a lot of thought and reflection on how I tend to go about business development. Whilst much of it was quite oriented towards tech-start-ups, some of the advice probably holds true for all businesses. One of theContinue Reading

Be clear on what you need to be

There is a lot of advice about starting your own business that makes it clear that you have to take on a number of roles, often within the same day, just to keep your business up and running. You need to be principal marketer, accountant, chief IT engineer and many others, not to mention doingContinue Reading

Coach: Heal thyself

I had a client recently ask me, at very short notice, if they could change an appointment that we had in our diaries. Something that was business critical had just arisen and they really needed to stay in the office to resolve it. We agreed a new date and I was suddenly left with aContinue Reading

100% or nothing

I have long thought that there are only two states that we can adopt that allow us to accurately judge our own performance: 100% effort and 0%. I’m no positivist but it seems that if you adopt either of these positions you can review your efforts with a degree of confidence. Anything else is justContinue Reading

#200 Free Coaching and Performance Posts

This is post number 200 at The Executive Coaching Blog. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has kindly commented or supported this work here and on various social media platforms (You can find me on Twitter, G+ and Facebook). I would like to pass on a particularContinue Reading

Don’t mention the “C” word here!

There is more than one organisation that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years who have greeted me with something like, “We want to help improve the performance of the business through our people, we just don’t want to call it ‘coaching’”. Initially I was a bit taken aback. Then IContinue Reading

No Job Too Small

I have written in this blog before about my limitations (mostly of motivation!) when it comes to DIY. It’s not an area in which I possess either much experience or skill. As a result, I resort – probably too often – to finding someone who has both of these attributes, coupled with the desire toContinue Reading